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Dispatches Human Race

Lawsuit says clinic rushed teenager into life-changing transgender treatments

Keira Bell outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London. (Press Association via AP)

Regretted

23-year-old British woman is suing a gender-transition clinic that treated her in her teens, saying the clinic did not confront her sufficiently before giving her hormones to try to make her a male. Keira Bell went to the Tavistock GIDS clinic, the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom, when she was 16. She told the BBC that the clinic put her on puberty blockers after three hours of appointments. “I should have been challenged more,” said Bell. “No one was there to say anything different.” Bell says the clinic should have given her more therapy before it put her on drugs. She stopped taking testosterone and cross-sex hormones last year and now says she accepts that she is ­female. Bell’s lawyers will argue minors are incapable of understanding the impact of gender transition therapy on their future lives.

Proposed

Congress is considering legislation that would make tech platforms responsible for any spread of child sex imagery on their websites. In the past, federal laws, known as Section 230, protected platforms like Google and Facebook from liability in such situations. The new bill, nicknamed the “Earn It Act” would require the tech industry to take serious steps to fight child sexual exploitation on the web or lose their legal protections. At the same time, the Justice Department is preparing to announce 11 “voluntary principles” outlining a campaign to combat online child predators. Representatives of the tech industry created the principles.

Departed

The U.S. military says about 8,600 U.S. troops have started withdrawing from Afghanistan. A deal with the Taliban gives the United States 135 days to pull out its troops in a bid to end the 18-year war. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s plan to allow the release of some 5,000 Taliban prisoners, but rifts remain. An Afghan soldier with a machine gun killed two U.S. soldiers and injured six others after an argument, the Pentagon said on March 9.

Released

The last Ebola patient undergoing treatment in the Democratic Republic of Congo has gone home, marking a large step toward an end to the world’s second-deadliest outbreak of the disease, according to the World Health Organization. The latest outbreak in the Congo lasted 20 months and killed more than 2,200 people. It was the 10th outbreak of the disease in the area since the virus was discovered in 1976. Healthcare workers are still monitoring 46 people who came in contact with the last patient for any evidence of Ebola symptoms.